ATHENS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – France's Total in a consortium with Greece's Hellenic Petroleum and Italy's Edison has bid for one offshore gas drilling block in the west of Greece, an official with Hellenic Petroleum said on Friday.
Greece, which clinched a third bailout with international creditors in August, has made several fruitless attempts over the last 50 years to find big oil and gas reserves. Its debt crisis has prompted the country to step up those efforts.
The country received three bids for deep sea oil and gas drilling in 20 offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea and south of the island of Crete last summer and unsealed the bids earlier this week.
"Total, Hellenic Petroleum and Edison have submitted a joint financial bid for the block 2 in the Ionian Sea," said a Hellenic Petroleum official who declined to be named.
The official said that Hellenic Petroleum, Greece's biggest oil refiner, has also bid independently for two other blocks in the Ionian Sea.
The energy ministry said on Thursday it awarded concessions to Hellenic Petroleum and Greece's sole oil producer, Energean Oil for onshore gas drilling in three fields in the west of the country.
Hellenic Petroleum in a venture with Edison and Energean Oil are already searching for oil in three onshore and offshore blocks in western Greece.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
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